Thursday, October 28, 2004

Dell aphorisms IDC: Handheld Market Declines 3rd Consecutive Quarter

I think Dell makes fairly lousy products that cost too much. Their web services are poor and their customer support worse.

Dell is worth billions, I'm worth .... ummm.

Anyway, here's a list of (somewhat repetitive) alleged Dell aphorisms, taken from comments to the above story. Keep in mind that these may be more what the Dell company "says" than what it "does". Emphases mine.
Between 1984-87, Michael Dell managed to take his company from a $1,000 hobby to a $160 million business. In 1999, it was worth $18 billion and had experienced a 36,000 percent growth. Dell is a 'Good to Great' company. Michael Dell exhibits the type of leadership that a 'Good to Great' company should have.

Dell's Big Picture:
1. Build a business on what people want instead of what you think they want:
A. Listen to the customer.
B. Respond to the customer.
C. Deliver what they want.
2. Success is a matter of learning and identifying core strengths.
3. Every new growth opportunity has a level of risk.
4. Try to identify potential problems early and fix them.
5. Pace investment to match progress.
6. If there is a way to get something done more quickly and easily, try it.
7. Eliminate the middle man.
8. Opportunity is part immersion and part instinct.

Dell's Competitive Strategies:
1. Faster speed to market.
2. Superior customer service.
3. Commitment to produce high quality and high performance product.
4. Rapid entry to the internet. The PC was going to be the business choice for the future.
5. Surround yourself with smart advisors. If you hire good people they will bring other good people to the organization.
6. Dell's Two Golden Rules:
A. Disdain inventory.
B. Always listen to the customer.
7. Always sell direct.
8. Build your infrastructure as you grow. Slow and steady growth with a focus on liquidity.
9. Communication is the most important tool in recovering from mistakes.
10. Interject functional excellence and maintain accountability.
11. Segment by customer. Segmentation offers the solution to rapid growth.
12. Maximize strengths to improve profit.
13. The quality of information is proportional to the amount inventory. Focus on getting quality information and decreasing inventory.
14. Information Technology must reduce obstacles to the origin and flow of information.
15. Achieve velocity by selecting the minimum number of parts that will cover the largest portion of the market sector.

Dell's view on company culture:
1. Mobilize around a common goal.
2. Invest in long term goals
3. Don't leave the talent search to human resources.
4. Cultivate commitment to personal growth.
5. Get involved.

Dell's list of Don'ts:
1. Don't be satisfied.
2. Don't waste precious resources.
3. Don't play hard to get.
4. Marry high tech and high touch.
5. Don't forget that customers have different fears, questions, and sensitivities.

Dell's beliefs about the customer:
1. See the big picture.
2. Run with suggestions from the customer.
3. Always think bottom line (find ways to help the customer cut costs).
4. Make yourself valuable to the customer.
5. Be a student.

Dell's guidelines for communication:
1. Don't underestimate the value of information.
2. Communicate directly with the customer.
3. Work toward increasing demand verses supply.
4. Think real time.
5. R&D must deliver value-added stuff for the customer.
6. Get online and learn from the customer.
7. Focus on the customer and not the competition.

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